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Mercedes Imaginative and prescient EQXX idea escapes the EV weight spiral

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Making the Imaginative and prescient EQXX a benchmark for EV effectivity meant avoiding a downward spiral. 

It’s one of many principal causes Mercedes-Benz caught to the concept of an air-cooled battery pack within the Imaginative and prescient EQXX idea. Listening to mission supervisor Malte Sievers, it’s one of many key choice factors within the mission that helped enable it to outperform its unique goal: 1,000 km (621 miles) on a single cost, at real-world speeds. 

“Placing the liquid-cooling system into that battery would have began a kind of spiral—and you may see this with loads of bigger methods,” Sievers defined to Inexperienced Automotive Reviews final week, at Mercedes’ Immendingen proving grounds, earlier than I used to be allowed a while within the driver’s seat of this piece of the longer term (and the one such one on Earth).

To sum: Liquid cooling would have added weight and raised the peak of the battery pack. That may have elevated the peak of the car so as to keep inside house—which might have elevated the frontal space and affected aerodynamics. And that mixed would improve the vitality required and thus the scale of the battery wanted. 

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX 1008-km run

Mercedes-Benz Imaginative and prescient EQXX 1008-km run

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX 1008-km run

Mercedes-Benz Imaginative and prescient EQXX 1008-km run

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX 1008-km run

Mercedes-Benz Imaginative and prescient EQXX 1008-km run

As we’ve already reported, the futuristic Imaginative and prescient EQXX is probably the most environment friendly automobile that Mercedes-Benz has ever constructed. In April the EQXX did a real-world vary run, masking a 746-mile journey from Stuttgart, Germany, to Silverstone, England, on a single charge and with energy to spare for some victory laps. 

The EQXX is just not a production-bound car in any method. It’s a proof level for a way electrical automobiles from the automaker may be made extra environment friendly—much more environment friendly—sooner or later. 

As Sievers outlined, the EQXX represents an all-hands strategy, ensuring each piece of the car—together with however not restricted to the propulsion system—took the leanest and most efficiency-minded path doable. 

“With a view to make this automobile occur and make it probably the most environment friendly Mercedes we’ve ever constructed, it is advisable take a look at each single space of the automobile that has an influence on effectivity—and that’s mainly every thing,” he stated. 

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX Concept

Mercedes-Benz Imaginative and prescient EQXX Idea

From the cast magnesium 20-inch wheels and slim, specifically developed Bridgestone Turanza Eco tires that had been developed expressly for the EQXX, to glass-fiber-reinforced plastic for the doorways and an aluminum mega-casting on the rear of the car, with integral damper towers, the EQXX is combating for a distinct, extra environment friendly future in all respects. 

And once I circled again to ask extra about how Mercedes cools the battery system within the Imaginative and prescient Idea, Sievers quipped, with a smirk: “We actually don’t.”

He’s making a degree. The EQXX battery pack has some very rigorously chosen cells, specified by a method that doesn’t require something greater than exterior air let in. Typically. 

Sievers stated that on the proving grounds, in summer time warmth, the EQXX’s pack hasn’t gotten considerably above ambient temperatures—86 levels Fahrenheit whereas we had been talking, with a excessive of 99 levels due for that afternoon. He reported from distant sensing that the pack was at present at 90 levels. 

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

Mercedes-Benz Imaginative and prescient EQXX

As for these cells, Sievers commented that on account of enhancements in inside resistance, cells merely don’t warmth up as a lot throughout charging as they used to in earlier generations. 

“It does present that there’s so much to be gained, even whereas staying within the at present standard chemistry,” he stated, maybe in a touch of what the automaker is contemplating for these future EVs. “And it’s not all simply stable state; there are all kinds of latest issues simply coming round.”

The EQXX doesn’t eschew cooling utterly, although. There’s water cooling for the electrical drive unit and inverter, plus an oil-water exchanger that helps maintain the motor bearings cool. Shutters that open on the entrance of the car open solely when wanted, permitting a skinny sheet of air to cross by means of previous the battery and people methods, pulling warmth away.

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX 1008-km run

Mercedes-Benz Imaginative and prescient EQXX 1008-km run

Mercedes-AMG Excessive Efficiency Powertrains, which works with Components E and Components 1, designed the inverter for the automobile, which runs on a “plus-900-volt system.” The inverter has loads of Components E learnings in-built and is a key half for a way the general effectivity of the electrical drivetrain is 95% from cell to wheel. The inverter, Sievers stated, appears “drastically totally different from something we’ve carried out to this point.”

“Principally we’re chasing each watt right here,” stated Julien Pillas, a lead engineer who labored particularly on the electrical drive system. 

A lot of the drive-system growth for the EQXX, which began in 2020, was carried out on an EQB nicknamed Emma—for the upcoming MMA platform. Due across the center of the last decade with fashions roughly the scale of the Tesla Mannequin 3 and Mannequin Y, that platform will reap among the advantages of the EQXX mission.

Emma, the event mule crossover, weighs almost 5,300 kilos—versus lower than 3,900 kilos for the EQXX. But it surely has the EQXX’s air-cooled pack mounted beneath—with 100 kwh offered from simply 1,089 kilos.

Mercedes EQB with EQXX battery and drive systems  -

Mercedes EQB with EQXX battery and drive methods –

I received to take a spin in Emma first, on a closed course, to get a really feel of the interface and the calibration of the accelerator and brakes, that are precisely the identical because the EQXX (albeit with that further mass). A part of that concerned getting conversant in the regenerative braking, which is way extra aggressive than in Mercedes’ present electrical automobiles—maintaining the modes starting from D- (average regen) to D+ (gliding) however including a “D–” mode that enables one-pedal driving and not using a brake maintain. Retaining probably the most environment friendly within the EQXX additionally concerned maintaining mild on the accelerator and staying inside a 25-kw energy band. 

Within the proving grounds crawling with engineers, they had been maintaining telemetry on us. So I used to be capable of test in on effectivity—and much more—for my drives. Over a loop of about 16 km (10 miles)—masking a variety of terrain and speeds as much as 100 km/h (62 mph) and averaging about 50 km/h (30 mph)—I averaged 12.1 kwh/100 km (5.1 miles/kwh) in Emma, which is almost double the effectivity I’d seen in a country-road loop within the EQB earlier that day. 

That was proving the value of the drive system. Now I headed out in the true factor—the EQXX with its beautiful aero body and 0.17 coefficient of drag.

I slid into the mushroom-based vegan leather-alternative seats and pull the Biosteel fiber door strap, adjusting the seat, and located it’s really fairly snug for my long-legged 6-foot-6 body.  

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

Mercedes-Benz Imaginative and prescient EQXX

The EQXX felt perkier for positive, and I discovered myself driving sooner than within the SUV mule, requiring fixed consideration of the speedometer to maintain inside the proving grounds’ velocity zones. Whereas I heard the whine of the drive methods and a little bit little bit of highway noise, there was almost no wind noise—the payoff of the aero. 

After a little bit enjoyable after the effectivity loop, I received an opportunity to faucet into the complete 180 kw (241 hp) and confirm that communicative steering and a really low middle of mass make this fairly a enjoyable car to drive quick.

Efficiency for EQXX drive

Effectivity for EQXX drive

After which, a remaining tally. Within the EQXX, I’d averaged 8.39 kwh/100 km—about 7.4 miles per kwh, or about 45% higher than what I noticed in Emma. Or roughly double the space on the identical kwh than I’d be capable to cowl in most comparatively environment friendly EVs on sale at present. 

One curious piece of the EQXX effectivity puzzle is photo voltaic. Within the EQXX, it runs solely into the 12-volt system, with no avenue for the vitality to achieve the traction battery. Peak energy of the system is about 600 watts, with potential for the system to achieve about 16 miles of vary over a complete day. 

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

Mercedes-Benz Imaginative and prescient EQXX

Sievers admits that’s not essentially the choice they might make in a manufacturing mannequin—like omitting the onboard charger. However for the EQXX and its range-run functions, it made one of the best sense and freed up the traction battery for high-voltage use—with occasional working of a DC-DC converter when wanted. Within the EQXX, the warmth pump is run off the high-voltage system, however the remainder of the local weather management system, the steering, management models, infotainment system, and extra are all run off 12 volts.

Likewise, the EQXX wasn’t constructed for fast-charging. Though its air-cooled pack can cost at a decent 140 kw with out warmth buildup—sufficient to achieve 186 miles of vary in quarter-hour. 

“We’re not attempting to indicate that quick charging is flawed,” stated Sievers. “Whereas going for effectivity we found out after the truth that this really does assist with charging fairly a bit—that is the enjoyable engineering aspect of this, that we’re really discovering out new issues we didn’t see coming.”

Though these with the mission hesitate to provide any extra hints about what precisely would possibly make it into the manufacturing MMA electrical automobiles, we’ll take that as one of many hints. 

Mercedes-Benz Vision EQXX

Mercedes-Benz Imaginative and prescient EQXX

In some respects the EQXX is that this decade’s VW XL1, as a hyper-efficiency poster automobile. Though VW constructed the superlight diesel-hybrid XL1 in a really small quantity, identical to the EQXX it was supposed as a expertise moonshot.

That stated, after diving into why the EQXX exists—and driving it—I can say that regardless that the EQXX will not be produced, it means much more in serving to to information a technology of EVs away from that downward spiral.


Mercedes-Benz offered transportation and lodging in order that we may convey you this take a look at drive evaluation.

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